Thursday, 7 January 2010

Cycling Superhighways: Boris Johnson loses his marbles

Michael Evans from the Dorset Cyclists Network, said Mr Johnson and his team should promote awareness of cycle lanes among pedestrians and motorists.

“In Holland and Germany, people just don’t walk on to cycle lanes. They’ve been brought up with them. We have a generation or two to go in this country until we reach that point.

“Boris Johnson should find a way to educate the public and encourage cyclists and pedestrians to give and take a bit.”

Michael Evans doesn’t seem to understand that ‘Cycle Superhighways’ (a good example of hyperbole) are nothing more than conventional 1.5 metre wide cycle lanes on the road, the only difference is that they will be painted blue instead of green, pink or not at all. They won’t be for pedestrians. As for “promoting awareness” among drivers, oh please. That crap gets us nowhere.

Peter Smith-Nicholls, who organises the Dorset Macmillan bike ride, said the continuity of cycle lanes should be considered. Sometimes you’re on a cycle path and it runs out at a roundabout, which leaves you faced with nowhere to go or a huge hazard.”

But that’s the point in British cycling infrastructure. It is entirely cosmetic and when it gets in the way of motorists, it vanishes.

If Boris Johnson wants to transform cycling in London he needs to draw on Dutch expertise, not, bizarrely and absurdly (for a moment I thought it was April 1st) , on a Ringwood pedal car race guru.